Sneak Peak: Floods and Fires

If you’ve been following our blog, Twitter, and Facebook, you may have seen our growing excitement over the upcoming release of Flood and Fires.

In Dan Leach’s first short story collection, he delves into emotions that span all people in a uniquely southern landscape. In the title story, a man struggles with the decision to uphold his strong family ties, even as his son becomes a fugitive. In “Everything Must Go,” a day that starts off at a harmless in a garage sale, turns emotionally haunting as our main character suspects his ex-wife’s belongings are the ones up for sale. In “Transportation,” a young boy’s imagination is his greatest hope as he becomes extraordinary in his mind’s eye in an attempt to escape his trailer park upbringing. In “Midnight Showing” a man takes his ex-girlfriend on a short late night trip—to redemption, or maybe to a happier past? Pick up your copy this fall to find out about these and more!

We are getting so close to it’s September 12 release; in our excitement, we can’t help but share this sneak peek with you. Click here to read or download a sample chapter of Floods & Fires, and make sure to check back in for more updates!

Writing Competition Alert!

Here at the University of North Georgia Press, we always keep our eyes open for exciting opportunities for authors or fledgling writers to expand their craft and maybe even win some prizes. Recently, the Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition has come to our attention as a thrilling event for those who feel moved to try their hand at writing a short story.

Via Flickr

The competition is sponsored by the Munster Literature Centre in Cork, Ireland. Founded in 1993, this non-profit arts organization has dedicated itself to the “promotion and celebration of literature.” The Munster Literature Centre organizes many events such as festivals, workshops, readings, and competitions. They also publish a biannual journal of poetry collections and short stories called the Southword Editions. The centre seeks “to support new and emerging writers.”

The Seán Ó Faoláin International Short Story Competition is open to writers from all over the world and accepts submissions every year from May through July. The submitted short story must be an original and unpublished or unbroadcasted work originally written in English that is less then 3,000 words. The story can be on any “subject, in any style, by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world,” and the judging process is completely anonymous. To look at the full submission guidelines go here.

Now, the entry fee is twenty dollars, but it sounds pretty reasonable compared to the possible prizes. The first prize winner receives €2,000, or $2,308, publication in the Southword literary journal, and a week-long residency at Anam Cara’s Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat. The second prize wins €500 and is also published in Southword.

If you like travel and you win the first place prize, you’ll be excited to hear about another perk you will receive. The first prize winner will be announced at the Cork International Short Story Festival in Cork, Ireland on September 13-16, 2017. They will be asked to read their prize-winning story at the festival and their hotel accommodation, meals, drinks, and VIP access to the literary stars in attendance at the festival will all be provided.

So get your writing together, and get your submissions in—remember they are due at the end of this month!

Speaking of short stories, hold onto your hats because the Press is releasing a work of short stories this fall titled Floods and Fires by Dan Leach. We’re so excited to share his first short story collection with you this upcoming fall.

To keep up to date on this title and more check in on our blog, Twitter, and Facebook!

Keep Your Eyes Peeled: Floods and Fires

As you may know, we have an exciting new book releasing this September titled Floods and Fires, written by Dan Leach.

Floods and Fires tests Marilynne Robinson’s assertion that “Families will not be broken.” In the title story, a father harbors his fugitive son from the town bully-turned-sheriff and meditates on suffering in small-towns. In “Everything Must Go,” an estranged husband spots his ex-wife’s belongings at a garage sale and grapples with an onset of paranoia. In “Transportation,” a young boy attempts, through wild acts of imagination, to transcend his bleak existence in a trailer park. Wrestling against limitations that are Southern in aesthetic, but universal in nature, the characters in Floods and Fires seek redemption in the face of hard times. Quirky, outlandish, but in the end emotionally poignant, Dan Leach’s stories follow imperfect people struggling against their circumstances, their histories, and, most importantly, themselves.

Before his foray into authoring short stories, Dan Leach had already made a literary name for himself. His writings have been published in various literary journals and magazines, including The Greensboro Review, The New Madrid Review, and Appalachian Heritage. Floods and Fires is his debut short story collection.

The Press is so eager to share this short story collection with you. Remember to follow updates on this and other titles on our blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

To learn more about author Dan Leach, visit his website.

Cover Reveal: Floods and Fires

The anticipated debut of Dan Leach’s new short story collection, Floods and Fires, is only a few short months away. We can’t wait to share his eclectic collection of vastly different, beautifully crafted, short stories in September. But for now, here is the stunning cover, created by artist Sam Caldwell, for this poignant debut.

Make sure to follow our blog, Twitter, and Facebook for more updates, and to learn more about Dan Leach, visit his website.

Upcoming Release: Floods and Fires

If you’ve been following our blog, Twitter, and Facebook, then you may have heard about an upcoming release titled Floods and Fires by Dan Leach. We are excited to announce this collection of short stories is officially releasing September 12th of this year, only a few short months away!

Floods and Fires is centered on a simple concept: all peoples, of all types, can endure. With his use of emotional depth and quirky truly original characters, he is able to place us all into the shoes of his cast and, even if only for a short time. Leach is able to delve into limitations that may seem foreign, but affect us all in some way.

The collection contains three inspired short stories:

  1. There is “Floods and Fires,” where a father must shoulder the burden of protecting ones own family from a sheriff, who may just be a bully who never really grew up. But when your son, who many be a little different, becomes a fugitive, what choice do you really have?
  2. In “Everything Must Go,” a haunted ex-husband looks around a harmless yard sale, only to receive flashes of the memories and life he shared with his now ex-wife as he recognizes some of her belongings. Suspicion overtakes him as he wrestles with a need to confirm her presence, driving him to throwaway social customs and battle his inner self, as well as the world around him.
  3. In “Transportation” we are brought into a mind of an imaginative young boy trying to improve his desolate trailer park youth with his sheer power of creativity and fantasmic pretend. It brings to light the coping mechanisms existing within children, and makes you consider of that wonder is still inside yourself.

Dan Leach’s stories follow imperfect people that seek to push the boundaries of their present circumstance. They are the ones who, as Dylan Thomas so poignantly expresses, “do not go gentle into that good night,” but instead “ rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Stay tuned for more updates on this touching new collection, and join us in the countdown to the long-awaited September 9th release!

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is here. It’s time to break out your best card, grab some pretty flowers, and maybe even make your mom breakfast if you feel like really going the distance.Despite it being celebrated at different times—and in different ways—around the world, Mother’s Day in the U.S. is traditionally celebrated on the second Sunday of May. Mother’s Day as we know it here in America was founded by Ann Jarvis in 1908, although it wasn’t until 1914 that it became an official U.S. holiday.

My own mother has a literature-infused heart, much like myself. So, in honor of her, on a day that was formed to honor her and others who have taken on the joys and challenges of motherhood, I decided to ask her for a few of her favorite titles. Here are some of the titles she decided to share with the world and why she loves them:

1) Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Via Barnes & Noble

“I enjoyed it so much and immediately knew it was a keeper, read it over and over. I loved the rich detail of the fictional Camelot history mixed with the amazing story telling. I fondly remembering reading this and experiencing love and heartache with sprinkles of intriguing history.”

 

Via Barnes & Noble

2) Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

“One of the first non-teen books my daughter (me) and I both got into. Loved seeing her get to parts that were disturbing or heartbreaking and how the crafted world affected her. We would get lost in conversations discussing the story and share our love or dislike of the characters. When I think of this book, I think of the bonding between us that was sparked by the amazing story.”

 

3) City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Via Barnes & Noble

“My daughter and I fell in love with this series. The thought of half-human half-Angels here to protect mankind was thrilling to me. I enjoyed the youthful interactions between the eclectic casts of the human and supernatural characters. I always thought a little teenage angst is good for a 50-year-old’s soul—gotta stay young!”

My mother and I felt joy together within the pages of these books, and many more. They helped us form a friendship that has lasted into my adult life. Growing up, our moms may have yelled at us, grounded us, and more. Just try and remember, especially today, that most of the time it was out of pure love. And just because we grow up, doesn’t mean they stop being our moms.

Happy Mother’s Day!

A Look at Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates was born on June 16, 1938. She has reached literary acclaim through her novels, short stories, poetry, and essays. Her largest achievement was receiving the National Book Award for her novel, Them.

Courtesy of WikiMedia

Oates grew up in Lockport, New York, living a farm life that has been repeatedly described as a tough upbringing. She was said to have found her solace in the written word and in her love of writing. Starting young, she developed the writing skills needed throughout her formative years to reach acclaim as an adult. She received her first typewriter as a gift from her parents in her teens; they continued to show her support for wanting to be a writer as she continued to write through high school and college.

Her hard work payed off, and she was attended Syracuse University on scholarship and, in 1960, graduated as the valedictorian. Only three years later, in 1963, she released her first story collection By North Gate.

Throughout her career, she continues to put herself in her stories with an incomprehensible depth. When events such as her husband Raymond Smith’s death in 2008 occurred, she put all of her pain and loss in her short stories. This culminated in her work of short stories called The Widow’s Story.

In 2014, her work Lovely, Dark, Deep was a 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction. Even today, she is seen a prolific writer (published over forty books), whose legacy has been carved in stone years ago, keeps amazing readers with new works like A Book of American Martyrs published February 2017 and Dis Mem Ber and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense forthcoming June 2017. Alan Cheuse of NPR once said the following of Oates while reviewing the said work,

She writes about both men and women, ordinary people and professional people, Easterners and country

Courtesy of Amazon

folk, the unloved, those caught up in the web of first love, the married, and the bereaved, families with children, widows, the famous, the gifted but underrated, celebrities and those who toil away at their lives in obscurity. Where Balzac wanted to give his readers Paris in its entirety, Joyce Carol Oates has dared to give her readers an entire country — our own.”

Today, at the age of 87 her work still has the ability to reach into the minds of all sorts of people in all walks of life. You can tell that short story collections seemed to be her great love. Despite her age, she is able to not only still relate to readers of all ages in them but also finds the root of the human experience and express it in such a way that it’s hard to feel alone while reading her stories.

If you wish to delve further into her expansive work of short story collections, feel free to visit Celestial Time Piece for a complete list!